Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has dismissed the Australian Government’s plan for the introduction of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) as disappointing and economic vandalism.

Fortescue CEO Andrew Forrest said smaller iron ore companies were penalised under the MRRT as it is companies like Fortescue which have to carry the burden of the MRRT. It would impact companies seeking to develop projects and would dry up the pipeline of exploration projects which in turn can only dampen national economic growth.

He said: “To penalise only the iron ore and coal mining industries at a time when they are the mainstay of the national economy is lunacy. “

“What we have in the MRRT is a secret deal between the Government and three big multinational mining companies. It was designed to deliver benefits solely for those three companies and in return assist the Government to ultimately win an election.”

“The MRRT delivers enormous benefits to the multinational companies which can fund projects from their own balance sheets. The impact of the MRRT is that it creates a cost impost on companies requiring debt funding, like Fortescue and every other Australian mining company seeking to develop new projects. Subsequently, we cannot uplift the value of our assets at huge market value, which is what BHP Billiton and Rio will be entitled to do.”